The Social Contract for VET (Samfunnskontrakten) was signed by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Government Affairs, the social partners and the regional authorities in April 2012.
The majority of the pupils who embark on upper secondary education in Norway choose one of the nine vocational programmes. However, few end up with a trade or journeyman´s certificate. The lack of apprenticeship places is partly to blame for the low completion rate. The current number of VET pupils that end up with a trade and journeyman's certificate is not sufficient to meet the future needs of the labour market. The objective of the Social Contract for VET is to increase the number of training places and thus enable more pupils to complete their education with a certificate.
The contract has three main objectives:
- a 20% increase in the number of apprenticeship contracts by 2015;
- an increase in the number of adults formalising their competence with a trade or journeyman´s certificate;
- an increase the number of apprentices that complete an apprenticeship and pass the exam.
The Ministry of Education and Research and the social partners, including the teachers’ organisations, regional authorities and the Ministry of Government Affairs, are expected to approve some of the following measures:
- increased financial support at different levels, including for World Skills and similar events;
- development of statistics that describe the needs for future competences in the labour market;
- development of guidelines for company-based training;
- encouragement for employees to formalise their competence and train others;
- development of strategies for recruiting youth to vocational education.